Kavanaugh, in email, disputes Roe is settled law

Gwen Vasquez
September 6, 2018

"A good judge must be an umpire-a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy", Kavanaugh said in his opening statement at the tail end of the meeting.

House members don't get to vote on Kavanaugh, but Richmond plans to testify about Kavanaugh as an outside witness on Friday, the final day of confirmation hearings.

He also declined to say if he would recuse himself on future cases involving Trump.

During a marathon session on Wednesday, Kavanaugh avoided answering questions about the scope of presidential power including whether a president can pardon himself. Ted Cruz, who is fighting for his own re-election in Texas, apologized to Kavanaugh for the spectacle he said had less to do about the judge's legal record than Trump in the White House.

Trump has often criticized the judiciary.

At one point, Harris also asked Kavanaugh if he's ever discussed special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation with anyone at the law firm of Kasowitz Benson & Torres, which was founded by Marc Kasowitz, who has worked as President Trump's personal lawyer. Some two dozen protesters were escorted from the hearing room after shouting objections to Kavanaugh's nomination. The Supreme Court has never answered that question, and it is among the most important at Kavanaugh's hearing since Trump could face a subpoena in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

"I can't give you an answer on that hypothetical question", Kavanaugh said.

Grassley noted that despite his staff being available around the clock to help Democrats access records, not a single Democratic senator showed up. I appreciate what you've said about Native Hawaiians.

The Supreme Court has never answered that question, and it is among the potentially most important since Trump could face a subpoena from special counsel Mueller.

"As a general proposition I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade", Kavanaugh said.

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Kavanaugh was also asked about his association with former Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, who resigned late a year ago after several women, including former law clerks, accused him of inappropriate touching and forcing them to view pornography in his chambers.

Further still, Kavanaugh claimed that there is no constitutional difference between assault weapons and handguns, and he considers modern laws invalid when they contradict regulations made at the time the Second Amendment was drafted.

"It has been reported that you have said that Roe is now settled law", Sen.

Liberals are concerned Kavanaugh could provide a decisive fifth vote on the nine-justice court to overturn the 1973 abortion ruling. He likened it to another controversial, landmark Supreme Court decision, the Miranda ruling about the rights of criminal suspects.

He cited historic cases, including the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that desegregated schools and the USA v. Nixon decision that compelled the president to turn over the Watergate tapes - a ruling Kavanaugh had previously questioned. "I disagree with him mostly because I'm a conservative; conservatives believe in the rule of law".

"The government's conduct in the case had already forced her to delay her decision on an abortion by several weeks", Durbin told Kavanaugh.

Feinstein also chose to drill down on gun control and school shootings, asking him to explain his dissent in a 2011 DC Circuit case upholding the District of Columbia's ban on the possession of most semi-automatic rifles. "It's not theory. It's not just what a law review article says".

White House spokesman Raj Shah said security intervened before Kavanaugh could shake the hand of the "unidentified individual".

Trump said he had been watching the hearings and thought the Democrats were "grasping at straws" in questioning the man he chose to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

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